Dilemma: A99 vs new Olympus E-M1

Started Sep 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
EarthQuake
Senior MemberPosts: 1,318
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Re: Not so easy
In reply to Nordstjernen, Sep 4, 2013

Nordstjernen wrote:

jackgreen wrote:

If you will shoot in bright daylight, go for Olympus. If you have to shoot also in poorly lit conditions and expext excellent results, a99 should be the choice.

But what if the A99 stays home most of the time because of weight and bulk, how much do good low light performance matter?

Many care a lot (way too much, I will say) about technical image quality, and not so much about how and where the camera actually is going to be used, what the photographer shoots, and which technical quality is acceptable for the end result/how the pictures are used and presented.

Exactly, that extra stop of noise performance sounds good on paper, but its meaningless if you never take the camera with you. Personally, I feel like with the current gen Sony sensor in the latest M43rds bodies, the sensor performance is good enough. The OMD's sensor is on par with pretty much all APS-C cameras except for the very latest/best models, certainly on par with all of Sony's DSLTs. I know its not the latest and greatest new toy with the best sensor ever, but in real use it is very capable. Surely an A99 or better yet 5dIII or D600/D800 has a better sensor, the question is at what cost?

Plus the other side of it that isn't talked about so much, the A99 gives 1 stop better noise performance if say, you're shooting 1.4 lenses on each system in low light. However, sometimes you're shooting low light and want wider DOF not narrower, in which case you'll have to stop the A99 down to F2.8 to get the same DOF, and then the OMD has a 1 stop noise advantage. The OMD also has the best image stabilization in the business (better than OIS lenses!), so if you're shooting non-moving subjects, you can get by with extremely low shutter speeds.

Personally I'm really excited for the Panasonic 42.5/1.2 lens, which will be a 85/2.4 equivalent (for field of view and DOF). I generally shoot my Sigma 85/1.4 at about F2-2.8, because the DOF of an 85mm lens at 1.4 of FF is too narrow for almost any practical purpose. Once this lens comes out, I should be pretty much set for extreme DOF control when I need it.

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